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Thread: New York Times article about Clifford Ross ULF

  1. #21

    New York Times article about Clifford Ross ULF

    Wasn't there another ULF camera project that was recently getting some attention? As I recall, this other project went so far as to design and manufacture their own lens(es). (As well as a dedicated SUV 'transporter')

    I find it interesting that the mainstream press seems to think that someone building their own LF camera is an interesting topic worth writing about. As they say - any press is good press.

    However, very little of what the builders are doing is novel or unique. Indeed, I think that if Ross's patent were to be challenged, a court would find that the patent teaches little that its truly novel or that is not anticipated by other patents or current state-of-the-art.

    Joe

  2. #22

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    New York Times article about Clifford Ross ULF

    I was flipping through some past View Camera issues, and one from the spring of 2001 had two guys that had 2 modified astrographic survey cameras that were 9x18 format. These cameras were designed to photograph the entire sky in only about 100 frames! It sounds like they used the same vacuum roll back as Ross.

    The cameras in the VC issue also used 3 micrometers to adjust the lens for focusing and front tilt. Since these guys did not us a ground glass for focusing, they used a laser range finder to determine subject distance and then a lookup table to determine what setting to adjust the micrometers to. I think they used a 35mm camera with a viewfinder mask to determine framing.

    Sounds very similar to the Ross camera, and perhaps more high tech...

    Kirk - www.keyesphoto.com

  3. #23

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    New York Times article about Clifford Ross ULF

    A few years back, I was involved in the testing of experimental aerial color negative films. (One of them is now the Kodak product 2444.) Last year one of the engineers I worked for then gave me a copy of an 12-page article (single-spaced) called "The R1: Hector Mann's mustache (Draft 8.4)" . It is Mr. Ross' explanation of his quest to build the ultimate camera, as of 1/03/03. In it he explains that the Flint/Weissman camera (as seen in VC) did not meet his needs, which led him to develop his own camera. I will say that he's been very thorough in his research, design, and engineering, right through to the final mounting/framing of his prints. It does seem to me that with his publicity he has set the bar very high... and that making pictures worth all the technical effort will not come easy. There are plenty of other ULF photographers working on making a "Portrait of America", and his image-making skills will have to be the equal of the best of them to live up to the hype. That said, I wish him all the best, he's set himself a very large challenge...

    (I suggested that Kodak donate some film to him, but I don't know if they ever did.)

  4. #24

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    New York Times article about Clifford Ross ULF

    Mark - can you remember in whast way the Flint/Weissman camera did not meed Mr. Ross' needs? Looking at the difference between the two cameras, I suspect his main one was no ground glass framing/focusing. But as far as one being technically superior to the other or greating a higher resolution image, I can't see much difference.

  5. #25

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    New York Times article about Clifford Ross ULF

    Kirk, per the document, the Flint/Weissman camera article in VC was the source of Mr. Ross' idea. He met with the two inventors and found that a) it lacked view camera movements, b) lacked groundglass viewing/focusing, and c) the inventors had "commercial applications in mind", which I take to mean that the F/W camera was not for rent. So he decided to build his own. But now that I think of it, didn't I see the Flint/Weissman camera for sale in the classifieds of a recent issue of VC?

  6. #26

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    New York Times article about Clifford Ross ULF

    Did the Flint?weissman camera come with a spirit level? ;-)

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